-------Original Message-------
Date: 04/05/05 19:25:46
Subject: [CASonline] The passing of our Spiritual Comrade -
CAS's heartfelt prayers to and with all our Catholic brothers and sisters .......
"Lama Chenno .........."
His Holiness the Dalai Lama Mourns the Passing Away of
    Pope John Paul II A True Spiritual Practitioner
DHARAMSALA, 3 April 2005 (DIIR) --- His Holiness the Dalai Lama offered
special prayers for His Holiness Pope John Paul II yesterday during the last
leg of his three-week teachings.
After the passing away of His Holiness Pope John Paul II, His Holiness the
Dalai Lama issued this condolence message.
"His Holiness Pope John Paul II was a man I held in high regard. He was a
determined and deeply spiritual minded person for whom I had great respect
and admiration. His experience in Poland, then a communist country, and my
own difficulties with communists, gave us an immediate common ground. The
first time we met, he struck me as very practical and open, with a broad
appreciation of global problems. I have no doubt that he was a great
spiritual leader.
"Right from the beginning a close personal friendship developed between us,
which was confirmed on several subsequent occasions. I found we were in
complete agreement about several issues. The Pope felt as I do that as human
beings we not only require material development but we also need
spirituality. Certainly, improved material facilities provide us with
physical comfort but we also have unique intelligence or mind that mere
material provision cannot fully satisfy. Both in public and to me in person
the Pope always stressed the importance of spiritual values and we shared a
concern that the younger generation is losing interest in them.
"We were also in complete agreement about the need to promote harmony
amongst different religious traditions. I was privileged to participate in
the inter-faith meeting held at Assisi, a very important and significant
event, at his invitation. It demonstrated to the world community that our
different traditions really could pray together and send a message of peace
from one platform.
"I also have deep appreciation for the Pope's mission to bring peace to the
world. In spite of increasing age and declining physical health, his
relentless efforts to visit different parts of the world and meet the people
who lived there to promote harmony and spiritual values, exemplified not
only his deep concern but also the courage he brought to fulfilling it.
"The Pope was very sympathetic to the Tibetan problem. Of course, as the
head of an institution trying to establish good relations with China and
seriously concerned about the status of millions of Christians in China he
could not express this publicly or officially. But right from the start of
our friendship he revealed to me privately that he had a clear understanding
of the Tibetan problem because of his own experience of communism in Poland.
This gave me great personal encouragement.
"Finally, I want to express my deep admiration for the Pope's ability to
forgive even his would-be-assassin. This was a clear indication that he was
a true spiritual practitioner."
Photo - Courtesy of TIME magazine:
World leaders of all faiths pay tribute to a 'hero of the ages'
By Danielle Demetriou
The Independent
04 April 2005
From Tibet to Cuba, the world's leaders joined forces yesterday to pay
tribute to Pope John Paul II in a reflection of his impact around the world.
Few corners of the globe appeared untouched by the death of the late pope,
with dozens of religious and political leaders praising his wide-reaching
Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, led political tributes in the UK to a man he
deemed an "inspiration" in his quest for humanity and social justice. "He
was an inspiration, a man of extraordinary faith, dignity and courage," he
Amid a national outpouring of mourning across Italy, Silvio Berlusconi, the
Italian Prime Minister, highlighted the values for which the Pope had
fought. "We are grateful to him for the tireless and difficult work he
carried out unstintingly against all forms of totalitarianism, violence,
oppression and moral degradation," he said.
Jacques Chirac, the French Prime Minister, added: "This mourning deeply
marks France as well as every French person who identifies with the message
of the Catholic Church."
Among the tributes was praise from Mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet
leader who met the Polish-born pontiff in 1989, days before the fall of the
Berlin Wall ended the Cold War. "John Paul II had a huge impact on ending
the Cold War," he said. "He took an unfailing interest in life in the USSR
and Russia and he supported the democratic reforms in our country."
In the US, President George Bush, a conservative Christian, led mourning for
a religious leader described as a "hero of the ages".
Across South America, where most of the continent's inhabitants are devout
Catholics, leaders also highlighted the achievements of the late pope.
Vicente Fox, Mexico's President, said: "John Paul II was an exceptional man,
his legacy will transcend generations."
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, President of Brazil, added: "The suffering he did
not hide in his last years never altered his determination."
Catholics across the religiously conservative continent of Africa praised a
man whose teachings had growing appeal for them. Olusegun Obasango, the
Nigerian President, said: "Pope John Paul II not only visited Nigeria twice
but stood by the country in its fight against dictatorship and injustice."
Praise for the dedication of the late pope was not confined to Catholic
circles. Silvan Shalom, the Israeli Foreign minister, said: "Israel, the
Jewish people and the entire world, lost today a great champion of
reconciliation and brotherhood between the faiths." Mahmoud Abbas, the
Palestinian President, also paid tribute. "We have lost a very important
religious figure who dedicated his life to peace and justice for all."
The Dalai Lama, the Buddhist spiritual leader, said he had shared with the
Pope not only their struggles against communist rule and a desire for
harmony between religions, but also a concern to put spiritual values before
the material.
China, which does not allow its Catholics to recognise Vatican authority,
expressed condolences, but said it hoped the Holy See, "under the leadership
of the new pope, will do something conducive to the improvement of
Sino-Vatican relations".